Facebook's emerging business is dominated by digital advertising, but it also has hardware ambitions beyond VR. During the latest update on the company's profits, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the next release of Facebook will be a pair of smart glasses from Ray-Ban.
"Smart glasses allow you to do pretty nice things," said the Facebook co-founder. "I'm excited to give people these glasses and continue to make progress on the journey to full augmented reality glasses."
Facebook glasses have been the subject of fame since 2019. At that time, sources reported that Facebook was working with the owner of Ray-Ban EssilorLuxottica for AR glasses with the nickname "Orion". The glasses were said to be something like a complete replacement for the phone as you could receive calls, view information and even stream livestreams. This inevitably led to comparisons with Google Glass (another Luxottica partnership) instead of Spectacles from Snap. Last year, Hugo Barra, then VP VR at Facebook Reality Labs, confirmed that the glasses will be released in 2021. But, since then, not much information has been released.
Useful information: Facebook: How to archive your posts (without deleting them)
For Facebook, glasses hold the key to its future. Along with virtual reality, augmented reality (AR) is an integral part of creating "metaverse," Zuckerberg said. In the future, Facebook will be transformed into a shared, liveable platform that allows you to "teleport" between different social experiences using VR and AR, Zuckerberg explained.
The term metaverse is the latest buzzword used by Silicon Valley. While the idea has been around for a decade, it has gained traction following the success of multiplayer game development platforms such as Fortnite and Roblox. Earlier this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella mentioned a "business metaverse" in his company's earnings call.
For Facebook, metaverse is more than just a fad. The company is spending billions to build this online universe, which will be complemented by Facebook users and digital advertising, according to Zuckerberg. To become a reality, the company needs more people to buy its computer hardware. Therefore, the plan is to make these devices more affordable.
Sunglasses are not the only hardware that Facebook works on. Many reports have suggested that Facebook is developing a smartwatch with a built-in mobile connection and a detachable screen. Initially, it was expected that the watch would be released first, but it seems that the Zuckerberg had other plans.
Source of information: techcrunch.com